From the HBD Archive
From: mds@wang.WANG.COM (Marc San Soucie)
Subject: Kit Yeasts - Who Makes Them?
Date: 1989-07-20 15:06:31 GMT

Here's an interesting one for you that I just stumbled over. I haven't done
much kit brewing, preferring to slop together my own recipes from relatively
raw materials (extracts and stuff), but lately I've been trying out some
kits in order to try their malts. Recent purchases have included Dogbolter,
Bierkeller (unhopped), Kwoffit Bitter, Telford's Nut Brown Ale, and others
that I cannot recall. In each instance the kit was accompanied by a cute little
packet of dried yeast. Some are packed in papered foil, others in foil, others
in plastic.

I have had some excellent beers made from some of these kits, notably the
Dogbolter and Kwoffit, and in each instance it struck me that the yeast was
exuding particularly fine aromas as it worked. This led me to think that some
cheap culturing would allow me to use one of these fine yeasts in a scratch
batch, producing a superior batch of beer. This in turn led me to my local
homebrew supply shop, the newly redecorated Beer And Wine Hobby in Woburn,
where I expressed my satisfaction with the Dogbolter yeast to Karin Baker,
the proprietor.

Karin, in her rather inimitable fashion, twinkled her eyes and let out a
quick chuckle, then proceeded to laugh outright, after which she said,
"Well, I'll let you in on a little secret...", whereupon she informed me
and my friend that Dogbolter yeast is actually Edme yeast, repackaged for
Dogbolter. Me being slow to catch on, I asked "How about Kwoffit?" She said,
"Same there", and with a sweep of her hand toward her racks of malt extracts,
said "Almost all of those yeasts are Edme. They package most of the kits for
the malters."

She was most amused, and I was most surprised. I have had good luck with Edme
yeast in the past, but I certainly didn't expect this. Could it in fact be the
case that special aromas and flavors were the result of malt flavors, hops,
and/or temperature exclusively, that yeast was not a factor?

I am still rather amazed by this turn of fact. Or is it mere supposition?
Has someone pulled wool over Karin's eyes as well? Are there further facts
out there to reinforce either side of this question? Let us hear...

Marc San Soucie
The John Smallbrewers
Massachusetts

mds@wang.wang.com -or- uunet!wang!mds

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